HMS Plans Hearing On Organ Donation
A Harvard Medical School hearing Monday, the first of its kind in the nation, will consider ways to increase the number of organs available for transplant in the United States.
The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Waterhouse Faculty Room and will be led by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54-'56 (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Moakley (D-Boston).
The hearing will emphasize "the importance of being an organ donor in a nation where 47,000 people are awaiting life-saving transplant operations," said Kennedy press aide Darcy Lee.
Organ donation is both a national and local concern. Currently 1,853 of the national cases are from Massachusetts.
"Nine or 10 people who are on the [national] waiting list die every day. In Massachusetts the situation is particularly acute," said Tana Sherman, communications coordinator of The Partnership for Organ Donation.
Moakley, who received a liver transplant in July 1995, is attending the hearing "to learn a great deal about the issue," according to an aide.
Kennedy and Moakley are longtime proponents of organ donation legislation. They were founders of the bi-partisan Congressional Task Force on Organ and Tissue Donation and championed the Organ Donor Card Insert Act and the Organ and Bone Marrow Transplant Program.
In keeping with a format used in similar discussions on Capitol Hill, Monday's hearing will include testimonials from a panel of experts, including organ recipients and Steven L. Gortmaker, senior lecturer on sociology at the Harvard School of Public Health.